"Tyburn, the place where we lost my brother"

Tyburn was a medieval village which stood at the end of what is now Oxford Street, near Marble Arch. Its name comes from the Tyburn, a tributary of the River Thames, which is now completely covered over. The spring there supplied the first piped water supply to London in 1236. Tyburn is notorious as the location of the London gallows, also known as the ‘Tyburn Tree’ between 1196 and 1783, after which time the executions were carried out at Newgate Prison. Prisoners were traditionally marched to their deaths, from Newgate Prison down the length of Oxford Street; the executions were very popular public spectacles and drew huge crowds – apprentices were given the day off and a public holiday atmosphere ensued, with the convicts expected to dress up and provide a ‘good dying’ to be cheered by the crowds. On one occasion the spectator stands collapsed, killing and injuring hundreds, but not even that proved a deterrent. The gallows are now commemorated with a plaque at the junction of Edgware Road and Bayswater Road. Tyburn is today the point at which Edgware Road begins. It is also marked by Tyburn Convent, in memory of the many Christian martyrs who met their deaths there.